RBMA is well underway, and responsible for some of the city’s hottest events this month. Björk has to be a major highlight for the Montreal Red Bull Music Academy, she will be DJing for 2 back-to-back nights — both of which have been sold-out for some time. If you’re a lucky soul who will experience that, congratulations! If you’re like me and riddled with F.O.M.O, don’t fret.
Björk, RBMA and Phi Centre have something extra special for ya… and let me tell you, I never thought being inside a gigantic pulsating mouth could be so much fun!
Björk has never been less than captivating. With an effortless ability to raise questions of existence and existentialism, while being a total master of undermining her own seriousness. Björk’s latest obsession is with Virtual Reality videos.
Björk: ‘I build bridges between tech and the human things we do.’
Making it’s North American debut, Björk Digital is a seamlessly blended experience of art, film and technology. The exhibition will bring you into Björk’s world with 5 VR film experiences. Ticket holders are led through the exhibit in timed groups so that the exhibition can be experienced in sync. While waiting to begin, there will be cinema rooms as well as tablet stations to engage in the previously release interactive Biophila app.
In reasonably sized groups, you will begin to experience the VR versions of the Vulnicara visual content. With 5 featured films, Black Lake, stonemilker, Mouth Mantra, Quicksand and finally Family. If you’ve checked out the released videos on YouTube, you’re only getting the bare minimum. With the VR headset, you will find yourself being the center piece inside these music videos, following Björk as her presence leads you through the different scenarios.
Beginning inside a cave, the feeling of a wet darkness overcame my senses as the two 2 Black Lake videos are projected on the bordering cave walls. With the sunlit opening of the cave mouth to your backside, Björk will begin to entice you into a surreal visceral experience.
In my perception, the arrangement of the music videos married 2 opposing realities. One of nature, simplistically beautiful as seen in the video for stonemilker, and the other a digital fantasy world like the one featured in Quicksand.
Right between these two strongly contrasted realities you will find yourself taking a jaunt around Björk’s mouth, as seen in the video for Mouth Mantra. This film was originally commissioned as an installation by New York’s Museum of Modern Art, this is the first time this film will be disseminated in VR format.
The 5th and final VR film, which by-the-way is seeing it’s global debut during the Montreal run of Björk Digital, has to be the exhibitions highlight. You can not watch this content anywhere else in the world as of yet.
In Family, the VR experience flips the focus from watching and listening to one of a deeper digitized interaction. Unlike the other experiences, Family does not feel like being inside a music video. Instead, it’ll turn you into a digital and interactive component to a version of Björk as she will harness the power of her voice in order to ultimately transform herself. Family is the centrepiece in the VR anthology for Vulnicara, as it encapsulates the full emotional arc of Björk’s journey from heartbreak to healing,
Without giving any more away, I will leave it at this. Björk Digital is an event that will undoubtedly raise questions in your mind and paint of clear image of where VR entertainment is heading.
Tickets and tour schedule for the exhibition can be found here. Björk Digital will end it’s run in Montreal on November 12.